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Local Motion Hawaii started in 1977: a small 500 square foot surf shop in Kailua, Oahu in Hawaii. Its founder, Hawaiian native Robert "Rob" Burns, opened its doors with his dream of opening his own surf shop finally realized. He was only 23, and started the shop with only a $3,000 bank loan. Little did he know what the brand would become what it is today.

Rob was a well known surfboard shaper on the Windward coast of Oahu and spent his days paddling, surfing, and playing tennis. With the help of his sisters, he named his company "Local Motion" which conveyed the movement, power, and speed of surf, and also embodied the Hawaiian-grown image, which is further emphasized by the iconic palm tree logo.

Rob began launching his series of original boardshorts, t-shirts, and aloha shirts in the wake of the of the booming surf-market. In the beginning, he was solely responsible for all design, merchandising, sales and marketing, later going on to also helm sister brands Hawaiian Style and Kahala Sportswear. By 1981, he moved the store to Honolulu where business flourished and continued to expand into the neighbor islands. Production eventually moved to California and later overseas. Design and development, however, remained in Hawaii.

It wasn't long until Local Motion became a familiar name in surfing worldwide, reaching as far as Brazil and Japan. Some of the biggest names in surfing were team riders: Buttons, Bonga, Jamie O'Brien and Bruce Irons to name a few. The popular Hawaiian Style Band wrote a couple songs for Local Motion (most notably the single hit "Live A Little"). When the company's biggest and newest flagship store at the time opened up in Waikiki, the cast of MTV's The Real World: Hawaii were employed as store workers for the tv series.

Rob sold the brand in 1991 to Minami Corp., a Tokyo-based organization. The corporation aimed to expand and serve the global surf market, opening its own independent series of Local Motion stores in Japan. Today in Hawaii, you can find Local Motion centrally based out of Honolulu, operating 7 stores across Oahu, Maui, and California while still remaining humble to its small surf shop roots. Share some aloha and stop by a store to say "howzit!"


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